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You Kintail it's a Forcan Good Mountain!
by jupe1407 » Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:36 pm
Route description: The Saddle, Forcan Ridge and Sgurr na Sgine
Munros included on this walk: Sgurr na Sgine, The Saddle
Date walked: 16/08/2013
Time taken: 8 hours
Distance: 12.3 km
Ascent: 1448m3 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
So anyway, not wanting to face a camper-van laden A9 in the day light hours, I set off from Forfar about 11:30pm, and got to the layby before the Malagan Bridge in Glen Shiel at around 2:30am. I was still surprisingly awake, so spent a wee while faffing about with the camera in darkness.
Eventually I crashed out and after a fairly uncomfortable 3-4 hours of kip i awoke to find the dreaded midges waiting on their breakfast.
The others arrived after a short while, and once ready, and more importantly after a cuppie and some chocolate, we were off. The initial ascent is very pleasant, not too long but not too steep, and with ever-increasing good views of Glen Shiel and the sisters. I was fairly firing through the memory card's capacity.
After a short while, we reached Bealach Na Craoibhe and started to head for the base of the Forcan Ridge itself. Evie took the lower path following the dyke (who the hell decided to start building walls up mountains? ) and Pete, Stevie and myself started the scramble.
The initial pull up onto the ridge is quite easy. Indeed, following the route is pretty straightforward as it's mostly just a case of following the crampon marks. There are very short sections of path only, leaving the vast majority of the ridge as a scramble, making it an altogether better experience.
Before long, we reached Sgurr Na Forcan with the 10m down-scramble. Stevie took it on and got down safely, and though tempted to try it, I took the bypass path with Pete to the left. There wasn't much left to gain the summit cairn now, apart from a knife-edged ridge section. Very enjoyable though
After the summit, we daundered to the trig point to catch up with Evie and had some lunch. Luckily, the clag relented and the views fairly opened out for a while.
We also had an interested visitor....
After a short while, we set off the descent path to the Bhealach Coire Mhalagain. Typically, after managing a fun and exposed scramble for an hour or so, within about five minutes on a proper path, I slipped and bashed my kneecap off a rock. This was to annoy me for the rest of the route and made descending less than fun. We got a fine look at the ridge from this angle as well.
So off we headed to Sgurr Na Sgine or "The Peak of the Knife". Surely it should have been renamed "Peak of the Spirit crushing Climb over boulders followed by numerous false summits".
Actually i'm being harsh, it's a nice mountain in it's own right, and probably suffers negatively as it's paired with The Saddle. It was indeed a "stiff climb" as described by the site, but good views were still coming and going.
We finally made the summit cairn after three or four falsies (due to the clag). A quick bite to eat (no photos as no views!) and we made the descent back down and after a brief chat over descent options, took the sensible route down over Faochag. The descent was horrible, but Faochag is a fantastic wee peak.
I'm really not a fan of descents at all, and this one was really unpleasant. Again though, the mishap happened back on level ground when attempted to get over a spot of marshy ground before Allt Mhalagain. A solid looking clump of grass wasn't that solid really, and i plunged into stinking knee deep mud. On the plus side, this simplified the river crossing to a refreshing walk through it
A cracking day out was ended with a small can of beer (courtesy of Stevie), a midge attack and a slow as hell drive to Sligachan for a very interesting weekend
Thanks to Pete, Stevie and Evie for an excellent day out.
by The Rodmiester » Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:44 pm
by jupe1407 » Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:46 pm
The Rodmiester wrote:Nice one John! and really good photographs to boot! Well worth getting up that unearthly hour for
Glad i did, the road back this afternoon was absolutely horrendous in both directions. Daft midnight drives are the way forward.
by Meatball » Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:52 pm
Quite annoying! Haha
Nice report btw!
by Clach Liath » Sun Aug 18, 2013 10:01 pm
by Graeme D » Sun Aug 18, 2013 10:31 pm
by soapy27 » Mon Aug 19, 2013 6:58 am
by BlackPanther » Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:19 am
by PeteR » Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:16 pm
It sure was a great day on these two , despite that descent A day to live long in the memory.
Great to meet you, Evie and Stevie on the day too
I've still to trawl through the handful of photos I took on the day , but once I've done that I might just add a report of my own too at some point.
by Scotjamie » Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:51 pm
Because of weather we followed the wall to the bealach, so may return to the ridge tempted by your excellent pics.
by jupe1407 » Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:02 pm
BP - It's probably the same one. I think Ravens are creatures of habit and that one will be fully aware of the potential of scraps on the summit
SJ - I'd definitely recommend it. I'd like to go back and do this one on a good day again.
Pete - You got that knife-edge crest one?
by PeteR » Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:08 pm
jupe1407 wrote:Pete - You got that knife-edge crest one?
Watch this space....
by Sunny Speyside » Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:29 pm
'The Forcan Chicken'
by trekker53 » Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:05 pm
by jupe1407 » Mon Aug 19, 2013 7:29 pm
trekker53 wrote:Well done to you all in bagging a couple of Munro's prior to meet. As we know it was a wise choice. Some good photos there John. Nice to meet you again at meet.
Hope you've got some decent weather after staying on!